There was quite a bit of excitement at the jam tonight as Logan, 16, challenged me concerning the chords to a couple of songs. He proclaimed that “Worried Man” and “I Saw The Light” had the same chords. I said they didn’t. He said they did. I said I didn’t know exactly what the chords were without counting them out, but I knew they weren't the same. He said he knew they were the same because...............he was the Bluegrass Master! The rest of us just looked at him with astonishment. The Bluegrass Master? (He had just come back from a week-long summer camp and I think he was feeling his oats!)
I said, “You wanna put some money on it?” He did want to. We confirmed the exact nature of the bet—that he said the chords were exactly the same—and I said, “Can I get a witness?” Ellen was kind enough to witness and she reiterated “exactly the same.” We bet one dollar. (All the time that this exchange is going on, Bob Van Metre, who has fallen into this trap many times himself, was trying to shut Logan up and even offered him a handkerchief to stuff in his mouth! I’m surprised he didn’t get out a roll of duck tape!)
So at the end of the jam, I said, “Alright, let’s see about these chords.” And I got out a pencil and paper to keep track of them as I played them on the guitar. But, no, Logan would not allow that. “You say never to write anything down. You won’t let us write anything down.”
I conceded the point and counted the chords aloud to each song while Mark kept track. As I pretty well knew, the chords were NOT exactly the same. (Even though they were darn close!) Now came the interesting part.
Logan: But you can play the same banjo break to both of them.
Murphy: I know you can but that wasn’t the bet.
Logan: Yes, it was!
Murphy: No, it wasn’t. You said the chords were—and I quote—“exactly the same.”
Logan: But the same licks work for each song, so the chords have to be the same.
Murphy: Yes, they do, but the chords aren’t the same.
Logan: You didn’t count them right!
Murphy: Yes, I did.
Logan: No, you didn’t.
Murphy: I can understand why your mom gets [ticked] at you sometimes!
Logan: Well, how did you know the chords weren't the same?
Murphy: Because I am the Bluegrass Master!
Kaboom! End of story!
Students present: Ellen, Mark, Bob Mc, Bob Van, and, of course, Logan.
Banjo in the Hollow/Cripple Creek/Boil Them Cabbage: all done in unison for our warmup
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
Old Joe Clark
Worried Man (to which Logan played the break for “I Saw The Light” which set up the whole controversy!)
Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
And for the finale, Shucking the Corn, played really fast by Logan, from whom I am still waiting on my dollar. “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”